Since reading of the bee decline a few years back, I have taken an active interest in these fascinating and hardworking little fellow who pollinate much of the food we consume, along with making our diets not only healthy but tasty too.
On many occasions I’ve asked Chris as an alternative to the chickens he will not allow me to keep, if I can have bees instead. I am still working on this!
As a massive lover of honey; our kitchen cupboard is never without at least one jar of the sweet stuff!
I am not only a lover of honey for the taste but also for the phenomenal health benefits it has to offer, (if you buy the right sort of course)! The health benefits of honey for humans also extend to our four legged friends; I will often use it as a supplement with the animals if they need an immunity boost, have a cut, sore or cough.
Back in December last year, my friend Lili introduced me to Green Valleys Honey, their products have since been at the forefront of my honey obsession collection in the pantry.
I also purchased a bag load of Green Valleys beeswax candles as part of the hampers I made for friends and family at Christmas, the candles went down a treat. I did keep a few back for myself and they as they were so pretty, they burnt very well too.
Daily I will drizzle a spoonful of honey over a bed of porridge oats, topped with seasonal berries and linseed for breakfast, also using honey as a face mask or dolloping a spoonful in hot water as an occasional replacement for tea/coffee. Green Valleys honeys are fantastic for this alternative hot drink as there are so many flavours, from honey with strawberry and vanilla, cherry, literally any flavour you can think of along with more traditional flavours including Royal Jelly!
A couple of Saturday’s ago now I visited Lili for a Brighton Brunch date, and I had the pleasure of meeting Kris who is the founder of Brighton based Green Valleys Honey, to discuss all things honeybee trivia as well as trying out a few new flavours!
Kris founded Green Valleys Honey 5 years ago as a company that specialises in raw and natural honey products, including jarred honey as we all know it, beauty products and candles to name only a few!
With an ever growing selection of honey and honey-based products produced both locally in Sussex and around the world, Kris personally knows all of the bee keepers whom he sells their products, to me this is super important as I like to know exactly where produce comes from.
During my time with Kris over coffee and apple tart I learnt some amazing facts about our bee friends;
- A single worker honeybee in her (yes her, as all worker bees are female), lifetime will produce up to a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey
- Honey bee hives at their most active can house up to 50k bees at any one time
- The typical life span of a bee born in July will be six weeks, whilst those born in September can live for around 6 months and a a queen bee can live up to five years!
- A queen bee at the height of honey making season can lay up to 2.5k eggs per day
- Typically in a day a worker bee will travel 7 miles
I also had the opportunity to taste honey in many different forms, some of which I never knew existed! For example Beebread, who knew this even existed! Beebread is fermented bee pollen and in its most natural form comes in the form of little pellets. The benefits of bee bread according to Kris are; it’s an antioxidant which boost the immune system, aid in reducing stress, promotes healing and helps to increase energy levels, the kick from this amazing bee product Kris tells me is better than any coffee!
On one of the shelves I spotted honeycomb, a mass of hexagonal wax cells built by honeybees. I rather naively asked Kris why he had this on the shelf, who buys it and for what purpose, I then for the first time ever I had chance to taste honey in its purest form and understood why he sold it!
This was a real treat and totally delicious, I was expecting the honeycomb to be hard and crunchy, this was not the case at all. The texture was very different to any honey I had tasted before and the wax was totally tasteless and very soft.
Kris really is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to bees and his passion on the subject was evident. I always carry a note pad on me and used this to scribble away many notes as Kris was talking, I think at times it probably looked like I was stock taking!
Since my visit to Kris I have now incorporated bee pollen in my daily healthcare regime.
Adding one spoonful to water twice a day, it is somewhat of an acquired taste but I have now actually come to like the taste . Its takes pride of place on my desk at work and has turned a few heads! I can honestly say that I have noticed improvements already and it’s only been 2 weeks. My skin is smoother and even glowing some have said! My energy levels have increased (for years I have suffered with daily fatigue). I am also sleeping better and my general mood has improved. Why? Well this fantastic product is jam packed with all the vitamins and minerals our bodies crave, a true superfood. Gram for gram bee pollen contains more protein than beef, aids in skin rejuvenation, and stimulates organs and glands while enhancing vitality. I read an article after returning from my visit to Kris about how Russian bee keepers were once known for living the longest lives in Russia as they too noted the benefits of eating bee pollen and it’s link in increasing longevity.
Why not check out Kris products for yourself here and give your taste buds a treat by discovering a new honey flavour or give your immune system a boost with another wonderful product thanks to Mother Nature!
P.S a top honey buying tip, opt for darker coloured honey as they tend which tend to have deeper flavours.
Kris has invited me to meet his bees in the coming months and I can’t wait to take him up on his offer.
Going back to my earlier comment on the bee decline, if you are interested to find out about tips on how we as individuals can support our bees, a good website I came by can be found here.
This post is based on my views only.
Love for now Emma x